Bo 7 Mon - Seven Courses of Beef - The best "non-Pho" Vietnamese meal
My first ever Vietnamese meal was when a friend took me for Bo 7 Mon (Seven Courses of Beef) at Kim Bo (Bathurst just north of Dundas), and I have been hooked on both Vietnamese food and the restuarant's Bo 7 Mon ever since.
If you haven't tried it before, do yourself a favour and do it. Bring a friend and an appetite, the meal is quite a feast.
I was wondering if any fellow Chowhounds have tried Bo 7 Mon, and want to post their thoughts on the meal.
I only know of three restaurants in Toronto that serve Bo 7 Mon.
1) Kim Bo (Bathurst north of Dundas) - the original restaurant serving the dish, IIRC, as well as a favourite of many other Vietnamese restaurant owners when they want to go for a special meal. I am surprised how many servers in other Vietnamese restaurants mention Kim Bo is a favourite of theirs when Bo 7 Mon is discussed. $25.
2) Pho My Duyen (Bloor west of Landsdowne) - I haven't tried the Bo 7 Mon here, and although I didn't see it on the menu, the servers tell me it is available for $35. If you've tried this restaurant's Bo 7 Mon how did you like it?
3) Kim Po (Hwy 7 and Leslie) - the landlords to Kim Bo downtown, Kim Po also serves Bo 7 Mon for $25. Not nearly as good as Kim Bo, however, the meal is a bit disappointing.
I would recommend this as a meal for two or three. Although once, when very hungry, I ate it all by myself.
The courses at Kim Bo are (without exact names):
1) Beef Fondue - with fish sauce fondue and rare beef slices this course is a highlight for most diners, especially those who have never tried Bo 7 Mon before.
2 + 3 + 4) Beef wrapped in Tropical Leaf, Grilled Beef stuffed with Onion, and Ground Beef with Herbs - the next three courses arrive on one plate (two pieces for each course). The Leaf wrapped Beef and the Grilled Beef with Onion are excellent, the Ground Beef with Herbs is okay.
5) Stir Fried beef with Diced Carrots and Celery - A decent course, it can be a bit bland. This seems like the least Vietnamese of all the dishes, feeling more like a Chinese or Thai dish. The beef, while marinated, can be a bit bland.
6) Steamed Beef Ball with Herbs and Noodles - What looks like a simple ground beef ball mixed with glass noodles, is not. It is sensational. While appearing heavy, this course is the opposite. The Beef has a very light taste, with an amazing blend of herbs. Always tastes great, and all my guests have loved this course.
7) Beef Congee - I don't like this course at all, and most of my guests don't either. Compared to the rest, it is bland with boring texture. The good news is, at Kim Bo, you can replace this course with extra of another course. Given the popularity of the fondue among my friends, we usually get more rare beef for the fondue, although an extra Steamed Beef Ball is usually very welcome as well.
Are there any other restaurants serving this meal? And what are your thoughts on them and the dish?
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Bo 7 Mon is a meal for 2 people usually, sometimes 3.
Kim Bo = $25 meal + tax/tip
Pho My Duyen = $35 meal + tax/tip
When you go to Kim Bo you MUST order the spring rolls. That adds another $5 to the price of the meal. In fact, with groups of friends who have all been to Kim Bo before, everyone usually gets their own order of spring rolls.